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German Stock Exchange, Frankfurt, Germany

Issue 43 Jun / Jul 2008 : Commercial : Workplace

Architect: ATELIER BRUECKNER Lighting Design: DELUX

Architects Atelier Brueckner have transformed the historic Frankfurt Stock Exchange with a dynamic lighting scheme aided by Rolf Derrer and Lightlife

The main trading hall of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the calling card of the German stock market. It provides workstations for more than 70 brokers, welcomes more than 40,000 annual visitors and is increasingly valued as an exclusive venue. Atelier Brueckner, an architectural firm from Stuttgart, was entrusted with the conception, interior design, lighting design, technical equipment improvements and ergonomics of the workplace. The design concept closely considered the various functions related to the hall.

After winning the design competition for the project, Atelier Brueckner’s concept was realised in two phases. The first phase, starting in October 2007, consisted of improvements to the brokers’ workplace and included the light concept and ergonomic broker’s circular trade barriers (accommodating all functional requirements). The second phase, completed January 11, 2008, consisted of the new visitor centre on the upper level above the stock board.

As the main commercial hall is not exposed to daylight, the introduction of a contemporary daylight system, as a substitute for the present system, was one of the most important considerations. Covers have been installed on the existing lights in order to create a more suitable ambience. Square light sails are arranged in three rows of five. Each of the 15 light covers is equipped with digitally taxable long field lights in the light colours: warm-white and daylight-white. The result is the simulation of natural daylight. In addition there are 44 concealed deep emitters that serve as direct lighting for the workspaces. These emitters support the overall light requirement of the space, as well as producing the necessary brightness for the workstations. Profile emitters made by ETC, equipped with halogen metal steam lamps and contour screens, are confined to the working areas.

The Swiss lighting designer Rolf Derrer (DELUX) incorporated illuminated room defining elements as the third part of the lighting concept. This includes the illuminated broker trade barriers and a light band around the area of the balustrade. Both accents are composed of neon light in two-tones: white and blue, the Corporate Identity colours of the stock exchange.

For the light sources, handmade neon tubes were used, offering longevity, cost efficiency, and a high degree of flexibility. In particular, this is important for the accentuation of the announcement board, as the light tubes are visible. However, with the trade barriers, the neon tubes appear indirectly. The high-quality, opaque glass of the barriers deliver a steady, glare free dispersion of light, without showing the contours of the light source.

Corresponding to the dynamics of the trading floor, the room defining elements illuminate to illustrate the occurring events. These events, including the stock market flotation, are conveyed scenographically through colour changing lights. An intelligent light system can be activated for barriers, contours and ceiling lights. It can be autonomously activated and steered throughout the day, while manual influencing remains possible at any time.

The light concept is completed with a light installation of a stylised world map, combined with bands showing news and indices internationally. This installation takes into account Frankfurt’s significance in the international commercial market. Custom LED-aluminium profiles were developed for the commercial world map. These elements are mounted with a distance of 10 centimetres in front of the charcoal-coloured wall.

The white LEDs are independently mounted and therefore the world map is adjustable to display different information. Furthermore, the course of a day is simulated on 1,200 metres of LED lines on a real-time basis, while parts of the earth with sunlight radiation are shown brighter. Lighting consultants Lightlife from Cologne realised the conversion based on the technical planning from medienprojekt p2. For the sequence control, the media planners chose an e:cue control system. This system evaluates the topical stocks in real-time and passes it to the relevant media.

In addition to the world map, there is a floor installation in the visitor gallery. Here guests are surprised by an auto-active space installation, which translates the commercial activities of the digital commercial system Xetra into an understandable, live graphic.

The biggest challenge in realising the stock exchange project, besides the demanding schedule, was the partial dismantling and rebuilding of the light covers in a twelve metre high space. The punctual reconstruction was made possible by the close collaboration between the project partners, as well as the use of new technologies in exhibit construction. After just five months the brokers could return to the main commercial hall. The world map was realised within two months.


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